Tap & Jazz

In Dance on November 23, 2015 at 11:55 pm

The weekend was awful because I had this lower back pain just above my left glute – like a sharp discomfort, walking on the Saturday was difficult, even sitting down didn’t help. Sunday evening I put an icepack on and this morning I felt surprisingly ok – in time for tap too! I slept well for a change. I ‘trimmed’ my tap shoes too… by trimming, the shoe guy took a chunk out of my left side – ouch! The edge was catching the floor last week so decided to ‘operate’ on them, I just didn’t expect such a large bit taken off! My poor baby savagely butchered!

Ailsa was very kind to us this evening, she slowed the tempo and let us work on techniques, my absolute favourite thing! It was a joy to hear our own steps for a change, not that SPEEED isn’t good because the change of pace allowed us to judge our development – my steps were  cleaner, even the maxi fords came out ok because it was a fraction slower. I was much happier with the across-the-room, it was easier on my knees and back too. Still struggled with wings, it was better but am recovering slowly. 

We continued with the lovely routine, I’m getting the gist of it now – I always need repetition to get it through my thick skull, but it’s good. Rehearsal went ok too, we welcomed the Beginners because there aren’t enough of them for one piece. Slowly we worked through and added to the routine, it was quite productive to be honest. We had a good laugh. I’m beginning to write the routine up, I like to memorise from a sheet of paper, it’s handy without needing to pull a video out. Been a lovely hour, I came out injury-free which was a bonus!


Grace is our new teacher. Talk about energy! She was tough but I think Laura is still the toughest in warm-ups! It was great to learn new interpretation of Jazz – the amount of arm work threw me off guard but I did my best. We did a lot of familiar things but slightly differently, I think everyone enjoyed it too. I hope she can convert them into regulars! 

I couldn’t work out what style of Jazz she was teaching, it had all the core traditional elements but there were touches of ‘glitz’ – such as the step-kicks, Grace added step-kick AND slide which sort of looks cool but also add control and strength to an otherwise normal step. I found Josh was similar to Ailsa, there’s rigidity, discipline and control, Laura is energy, funk and showbiz, I think Grace is power and style (-ish, still too early to tell!). It’s something new, as long as the core fundamentals are there I guess it’s good. I hope she can grab this class by the throat and make it hers. 

The routine was very short and fast, I think she’s seeing how we memorise them (not well!). She asked us to perform without her, it didn’t go that well – my mind went blank mainly cos I was still processing the steps! It’d be nice if she can watch Ailsa or someone else and pick up some ideas from them, teaching dancers and non-dancers are very different.

The hour disappeared, I had a brief chat with her, she seems a very nice person. I’m looking forward already. I slipped back into the cold wet night and… that’s another day, I am knackered! Totally worth it though, two really good classes!


In Dance on November 19, 2015 at 11:55 pm

It’s rehearsal time now so every lesson starts 15 minutes late, the evening was much colder than usual, was fractionally tempted to stay warm indoor. Nah, I love Contemporary so I would have gone in any type of weather. Squeezed myself into space in another jam-packed class, my left knee held up ok with the standard warm-up including forward drops. My left leg did feel weaker but it held up, there were times when I felt the tightness especially during the leaps, twists and landings, I’ll have a weekend to rest it.

We did… cartwheels! First time we were asked to do this, Ailsa integrated little bodyweight shift on our arms for prep, then a full cartwheel at the end. I did one but not sure how I felt or how I looked – probably not very graceful! It’s hard to judge unless I keep an eye on the mirror. We did some up-up-downs and side sweeps, I had a good laugh with familiar faces. I love the vibe there.

The routine was pretty sweet, I faltered a little when the actual video was running because I used all my energy practising before, I started well and just slowed down at the end. I felt the song so I danced in sync with it – just need to retain that energy level next time, but I’m hoping to get stronger and fitter to cope with the demand. Need to shake off the injury to my left.

Rehearsal went ok… I forgot our entire sequence, I memorised it this time, we incorporated a little more into it but mainly it was about placement and timing, I wanted to see a bit more at the end but it was late. We had more people join in and some drop out, it’s a fairly large group so it’ll be nice to be inconspicuous! It’s shaping up nicely, just need to practise – not too worried about this one, I’m more concerned about tap and my recent slump. Plenty of time, but time always go whoosh and the next I know… show time!

I feel knackered… can’t wait till the weekend is over.


In Dance, Manchester, Music, Random on November 16, 2015 at 11:55 pm

I looked forward to getting back into the groove. Although I was slightly hesitant about my left leg… something isn’t quite right, I’m getting the odd aches here and there – it must be the same hamstring again, my dodgy knee from last week could have been the result of this. Anyway, I struggled with the warm-up a lot and knackered myself out so quickly, something wasn’t right. I scraped along the across-the-room either foppishly or out of sync or too fast, I haven’t been myself for a few weeks now. I think my tap worsened in the last month or so.

My feet were sluggish and tired, something was gone, that snap, that spark and that clarity that I worked so hard for. I don’t know what it is… I know things have been more challenging and it’s fast and furious, still no excuses for bad footwork. I finally knew something was wrong when I tried the wings and my left leg went at a funny angle (unintentionally) and it was noticeably slower! I kept trying but they looked wrong… it must be this niggling injury, the curse of running in an anti-clockwise direction… which we always do in Josh’s Jazz class, I hate the running.

I was annoyed at my inability to do the wings, I tried but my left side wasn’t having it. I resigned to the routine and it felt do-able, I just felt tired but it’s something I know I can do. Maybe I need a rest? Despite a laboured sweaty hour I still had a laugh with the tap family.

We did rehearsal, where again, I chickened out of the more complex steps, I don’t know why. It’s like I don’t trust myself anymore, my tap confidence is in a free fall, I can’t get my legs to ascend the higher level. Perhaps I’m doing far too much at the moment? I’m concentrating hard on Contemporary and pushing physically on Danny’s lessons, Tap fell behind and it’s telling. A decision will have to come too… I want re-double my effort on tap. Studio then!

Kacey Musgraves

I had a text off Andi late afternoon, she had a spare ticket for a show in Albert Hall, her partner had to babysit the wee one and couldn’t come. I had no idea who Kacey was and been told it was Country music, which I didn’t mind and it was at 8pm… not bothered missing Josh’s class either, it was an easy decision to rest my legs. Met Andi right after tap and went in with my backpack full of smelly clothes!

It didn’t disappoint, Kacey is actually quite famous already but not mainstream, Andi wasn’t kidding – the girl is pretty. The show passed quite gently, I enjoyed it more than I thought – enough to get the £15 CD after! There were a couple of remixes that I recognised, Yellow by Coldplay and No Scrubs by TLC, the rest of her tunes were pleasant. Pleasant to the eyes and ears I guess. I was tired from tap but lasted through the evening – we stood from 8pm to about 11pm, now I’m aching! I made sure Andi got in her car in the dodgy car park and stumbled home.

Albert Hall is absolutely gorgeous, loved the glass windows and the interior ambient, I can’t wait to get back in March for Postmodern Jukebox.

Nice spontaneous evening out, exhausted me though!


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